BWW Review: A CLASSIC BROADWAY MOTHER'S DAY - A Delightful Family Show
An Evening of Classic Broadway returned to Upstairs at Vitello's for Mother's Day, where it launched 5 years ago. Headed by Brad Ellis and Dianne Fraser, this was a family show entitled A Classic Broadway Mother's Day, with performers appearing and performing with sons or daughters On tap were Nita Whitaker with her lovely daughter Skye LaFontaine, Tami Tappan Damiano with her son Dante Damiano, Karen Benjamin and her daughter Molly Chapman, Bill A. Jones, the only father, with his daughter Samantha A. Jones, and of course, individually and together, affable hosts Fraser and Ellis.
I always love these shows for the sheer entertainment and laid back attitude of all those concerned. This show was especially enjoyable because of its orientation to family and the performances of children who are really super talented and destined to make successful professional careers, not an easy feat in this day and age.
Some of the highlights of the evening included: Fraser's delicious rendition of "Mother Knows Best" from the animated film Tangled about a mother forcing her daughter Rapunzel to stay in the tower; Whitaker's stunning "The Impossible Dream"; Tami Tappan Damiano's terribly moving "What More Can I Say" from Falsettos; Bill A. Jones's fun "Luck Be a Lady" from Guys and Dolls; and Benjamin's sturdy "The Ladies Who Lunch" from Company.
From the children's side, no one could beat Dante Damiano's "Burn" from Hamilton. He is a superb little actor and returned with his mom to knock "You and Me (But Mostly Me)" from Book of Mormon right out of the park; Samantha Jones did a stellar rendition of "Nothing" from A Chorus Line and came back with her dad to do a lovely presentation of Carol King's "You've Got a Friend" from Beautiful; LaFontaine joined her mom for a riveting "You Matter to Me" from Waitress; Chapman performed a rousing "The Apple Doesn Fall Far From the Tree" with her mom from The Rink. And who can fault the delightful opener of Fraser and Ellis on "Together Wherever We Go" from Gypsy?! The jubilant "Wells Fargo Wagon" from The Music Man closed the show in karaoke style.
Just a note to thank Fraser and Ellis for their continued efforts to bring the music of Broadway to older audiences who love the tunes and to younger, fresh audiences who learn to appreciate it at a time when music, unfortunately, seems to be of lesser importance...and, we hear traditional material and newer songs, like those from Hamilton and Waitress in this show.
This was a super delightfully "feel good" show. Don't miss the nex presentation of An Evening of Classic Broadway at Rockwell Table and Stage on Sunday, July 21st. Make early reservations, as these shows sell out fast.
A shout out to the wait staff and the food at Vitello's. I savored the fried calamari and shrimp and New York sirloin steak. Our waiter Jordan was amiable and ultra efficient. Bravo!